Barrie Maguire

The Future of Power

Institutions of global governance - which allow the world to regulate interstate behavior involving everything from telecommunications, civil aviation, ocean dumping to trade and the proliferation of nuclear weapons – require the leadership of great powers. It remains to be seen whether this century’s great powers will live up to this role.

CAMBRIDGE – Global government is unlikely in the twenty-first century, but various degrees of global governance already exist. The world has hundreds of treaties, institutions, and regimes for governing interstate behavior involving telecommunications, civil aviation, ocean dumping, trade, and even the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

But such institutions are rarely self-sufficient. They still require the leadership of great powers. And it remains to be seen whether this century’s great powers will live up to this role.

As the power of China and India increases, how will their behavior change? Ironically, for those who foresee a tri-polar world of the US, China, and India at mid-century, all three of these states – the world’s most populous – are among the most protective of their sovereignty.

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